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Christina Cottiero

Assistant Professor in the Department of Political Science
University of Utah

Christina Cottiero is an assistant professor in the Department of Political Science at the University of Utah and was a postdoctoral fellow at IGCC. Her research interests include international cooperation, with an emphasis on regional organizations, African international relations, and cooperation among authoritarian regimes. As part of her work on the IGCC Authoritarian International Organizations project, Christina has created a dataset of authoritarian regional organizations that includes information about the scope of these organizations’ activities. She is also managing ongoing data collection on authoritarian election monitoring and lending by authoritarian regional organizations for use in a series of papers around this issue.

Christina is currently working on a book that explores why many illiberal leaders cooperate through regional integration organizations, which are widely associated with liberal international order and democracy promotion. The book presents a new theory of illiberal cooperation and tests propositions derived from the theory using a multi-method approach focused on African regional organizations and security cooperation in the post-Cold War period. In addition to new data, the book relies on interviews and archival research conducted in Nigeria. This research has recently been supported by the Smith Richardson Foundation, IGCC, and jointly by the U.S. Institute of Peace-Department of Defense Minerva Program, where Cottiero was a 2019-2020 Peace and Security Scholar. Christina earned a Ph.D. in 2021 from the UC San Diego Department of Political Science.

A headshot of Christina Cottiero.

Expertise & Interests

  • Regional intergovernmental organizations
  • Security cooperation
  • Elite politics